My Head in the Cool Blue North

Born: May 17, 1944, Bossier City, La.

Died: April 11. 2014, Charlottesville, Va.
When the news came of the death of Jesse Winchester, we were both shocked and saddened at our house. When we were in our salad days, we had the privilege of meeting him when he preformed in Aspen, Co., in 1977. His quiet but gentlemanly manner made a big impression on me and he gained my husband’s admiration, as well.
As I worked in a club where he played, I heard his music night after night. It never grew tedious in the slightest. The crowds swelled and by the end of that week, the likes of John Denver, Hunter S. Thompson and gasp, Willie Nelson, came in to hear Jesse.
This week, as tributes poured in from cities far and wide, colleagues and peers heaped praise on the body of work created by Jesse Winchester.
Along with his personal achievements, it is pleasing to note that his songs have been sung and recorded by a host of great people: Patti Page, Elvis Costello, Jimmy Buffet, Joan Baez, and Emmylou Harris to name a few.
He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the America Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers in 2007. The Commercial Appeal in Memphis where his family was originally from eulogizes Jesse as, “One of music’s sweetest voices and most incisive songwriters.”
From those of us from the “cool blue north,” Jesse, we are honored that you came to be with us for a time.

Nothing But a Breeze

Life is much too short for some folks
For other folks it just drags on
Some folks like the taste of smokey whiskey
Others figure tea is too strong
I’m the type of guy who likes it right down the middle
I don’t like all this bouncing back and forth
Me, I want to live with my feet in Dixie
And my head in the cool blue North
And there we’ll do just as we please
It ain’t nothing but a breeze
In a small suburban garden
Not a single neighbor knows our name
I know the woman wishes we would move somewhere
Where the houses aren’t all the same
Jesse, I wish you would take me
Where the grass is greener
I really couldn’t say where it may be
Somewhere up on a mountain top
Or down by the deep blue sea
And there we’ll do just as we please
It ain’t nothing but a breeze
One day I’ll be old gray grandpa
All the pretty girls will call me “sir,”
Now, where they’re asking me how things are
Soon they’ll ask me how things were
Well, I don’t mind being an old gray grandpa
If you’ll be my gray grandma
But I suggest we go have our milk and cookies
In the shade of the old paw-paw
And there we’ll do just as we please
It ain’t nothing but a breeze
©1977 Jesse Winchester
From the LP “Nothing But A Breeze”